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Technology & Data Director

Read the update on this transition on this June 2022 blog.

Have you heard that the federal government is transitioning from DUNS to UEI (Unique Entity ID) for tracking where federal grant dollars flow? Learn more about what this might mean for your organization before and after the transition on April 4, 2022.

NEFA currently has several grant programs which are supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. As a federal agency, the National Endowment for the Arts requires organizations that receive a grant from NEFA to have a DUNS number to receive federal grant awards.

However, this is about to change. DUNS numbers are now in the process of being phased out in favor of a SAM.gov UEI (Unique Entity ID). Starting in 2022, your organization will need a UEI to receive funds for NEFA grant opportunities.

Getting a UEI is done by visiting SAM.gov. It is a free process. SAM.gov (Systems for Award Management) is the federal database for tracking where federal dollars for awards and contracts go.

How will this affect you?

My organization is already registered in SAM.gov.

If your organization applies for and/or receives funding directly from a government agency, it may already be registered in SAM.gov. If so, you’ve already been assigned a new Unique Entity ID! It’s viewable in your entity registration record in SAM.gov. (Note: If you have a DUNS Number but are not registered in SAM.gov, you will NOT automatically have a UEI assigned to your organization.)

If you need assistance with your SAM.gov account or have other technical issues, please visit the Federal Service Desk at FSD.gov to search for frequently asked questions. 

My organization IS NOT already registered in SAM.gov.

If you have not previously registered in SAM.gov, you can get a Unique Entity ID by visiting this page and clicking the button that says “Get Unique Entity ID.” You do not need to complete a full registration with SAM.gov in order to get a UEI. Prior to April 4, 2022, you WILL still need a DUNS number in order to get a UEI.

Looking for more instructions? 

I am an individual applicant.

You do not need to have a DUNS number or a UEI in order to apply for and receive grants from NEFA. You will be asked to enter a series of 0s in place of these identifiers when applying for grants.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’m planning to get my UEI at SAM.gov before April 4, 2022. Do I need a DUNS number? Yes. If your organization is not registered in SAM.gov, prior to April 4, 2022, you will need to first go to Dun & Bradstreet to get a DUNS number. You will then need to enter your DUNS number in SAM.gov to get your UEI.
  • When should I start using my new Unique Entity ID (SAM)? The National Endowment for the Arts will start using UEI as of April 4, 2022. NEFA will start collecting UEIs from all applicants and grantees in early 2022. In preparation for the full transition to the Unique Entity ID, we suggest you take care of getting your UEI sooner rather than later.
  • I have another question! Check out this FAQ Page from the Federal Service Desk.


Special thanks to our colleagues at Arts Midwest for gathering these instructions!